Gaioche, Old Acadian Hippie, Dies at 75

The Acadia folk scene is losing one of its most unifying artists. A true legend, Gaioche died on Wednesday at the age of 75. A singer of “p’tit monde”, the phenomenon of the Acadian music scene is recognized for his festive performances that reach several generations.

A famous singer suffering from cancer requested medical aid to die. Active in the entertainment world since the release of his album Le Vieux Hippy in 1994, Cayouche has produced five albums and performed hundreds of shows in Acadia, across the country, in the US and Europe. From the beginning, people hummed his songs with Western accents, in which he recounted his adventures and the little things that happened in life, often with humor.

Colorful, Maisonnette’s Acadian cowboy made generations sing and dance. Audiences of all ages sang along to Bingo Queen, Drunk Driving, The Chain of My Tractor and The Children with Boots, classics of his repertoire.

The singer-songwriter in Acadia is one of the rare artists in popular music history to sell more than 125,000 albums.

After a career spanning more than 30 years, he has put down his guitar for good.

Globe-trotter

Born in Moncton in 1949, Reginald Charles Gagnon, known as Gaioche, moved with his mother to the suburbs of Boston, Massachusetts at the age of 13. After completing his military service in the United States Marine Corps from 1967 to 1970, he returned to live in Massachusetts and returned to Canada in 1979. A true globetrotter, he traveled the country roads with his backpack and his guitar as a maisonette. He got his first guitar at the age of 15. He was inspired by the big names of American country. A very friendly troubadour of song known for his frankness and humor, he was interested in the stage and motorcycles.

“If you get on stage, it’s like riding a bicycle. It doesn’t get lost,” the singer declared in a 2022 interview with Akadie Novell.

The singer has shared the stage with many big names in the Acadian music scene and has performed at major events such as the World Acadian Congress and festivals. Although he has slowed down his touring in recent years, he continues to perform mainly in the Maritimes region, especially during the summer. In 2023, he participated with Cars du Nord and Botin Soriande in the Mega Show in Dragadi around Acadia’s National Day celebrations.

Maurice André Aubin made a documentary about the artist in 2009. The road movie Cayouche, le temps d’une beer (Mozus Productions) offers a journey into the world of this artist without artifice, loyal to his fans. A funny and moving film. In 2019, the singer released a collection of 21 notable songs from his career. He later stated in an interview that Portrait de Mon Pere was his favorite song of the selection.

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